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50 Hortense St
Glen Iris, VIC, 3146
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0490 126 293

Practice of Jeremy Woolhouse, pianist and Alexander Technique Teacher in Melbourne, Australia

Specialist in working with musicians, RSI, posture re-education, neck, back and chronic pain management. 

Articles on Alexander Technique in life - by Jeremy Woolhouse

Monthly blog articles by Jeremy Woolhouse.  Alexander Technique for daily life, music performance, specialised activities, pain relief and management.

Filtering by Category: Archive 2

Removing interference

Jeremy Woolhouse

Alexander Technique is a process of removing interference.  Without interference, concept flows into action effortlessly.  Restrictions of physics still apply, so a conceived ideal may not be possible, but performance will be closest to intended, and most rewarding to the performer, when interference is minimised.

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Alexander Technique and Taubman Piano Technique

Jeremy Woolhouse

Alexander Technique trains the use of oneself, in any situation.  To the aspiring pianist, it is an effective technique to improve how one uses oneself at the piano.  It falls short, however, of training a technique of playing the piano.  Five years of territory study and additional years of private instruction gave me some ideas of piano technique, but there remained a incongruity between the coordination I’d learned through Alexander Technique, and what I understood the demands of playing the instrument to be.  I discovered the Taubman Technique to be the bridge to that gap.

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Sitting on the knife’s edge: the uncomfortable comfort.

Jeremy Woolhouse

There is a reaction known as “fight or flight” which is triggered when we perceive danger.  It is very appropriate when there is danger which needs an immediate fight or flight as a response.  This happens very rarely in modern society, the response is usually triggered by an emotional threat for which fight or flight as a response is inappropriate.  The resulting tension can create a massive limitation to performance and may guarantee a result which we were aiming to avoid.

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How does Alexander Technique reduce chronic neck pain?

Jeremy Woolhouse

A recent clinical trial published in The Annals of Internal Medicine has produced results concluding that Alexander Technique is effective in reducing pain for those with chronic neck pain.  The report on the study doesn’t go into any depth on how exactly the process achieves these results.  This article is intended to demystify somewhat just how Alexander Technique sessions have produced such an impressive result in the study.

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A consideration of the clinical trail on chronic neck pain and Alexander Technique.

Jeremy Woolhouse

There are some very interesting considerations which are brought to light by the recent clinical trial on Alexander Technique.  The study investigated chronic neck pain and proved the effectiveness of Alexander Technique and also acupuncture.  This article examines the details of the study from an Alexander Technique teacher’s point of view.

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News Flash: New clinical trial supporting Alexander Technique’s effectiveness in reducing chronic neck pain is published.

Jeremy Woolhouse

On 2nd November 2016, The journal ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ published a research entitled “Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomised Trial”.  The key findings show patients who attended Alexander Technique sessions had significant reductions in pain over the 12 month period. 

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Automation of Alexander Technique

Jeremy Woolhouse

All students of Alexander Technique arrive with an acknowledgement of scope for improvements in their life.  It may be a pain one has, or a recognition of falling short of potential which is the catalyst to study.  After a period of study, this initial motivation usually becomes fulfilled.  Students may feel content to discontinue lessons.  If the principles have been fully embodied, the student at this time is asking: “what now?

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Returning to Nature

Jeremy Woolhouse

There exists a myth that a ‘return to nature’ offers a solution to our everyday aches and pains.  We blame computers and out modern lifestyles as the cause of all sorts of problems.  However when we look at the principles at work behind the issues in modern life, we find that the same problems presided in times gone

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The Lack of an App.

Jeremy Woolhouse

e look to technology for solutions for our discomforts.  There is a faith that many have - almost religious - that science can explain everything and a technological solution will ultimately be found.  In human discomfort, this is not ever going to be the case.  Whilst we can now do some remarkable interventions, one still needs to move in ways which don't create strain in order to maintain comfort.  This is skill most of us have to re-learn as an adult.

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​Consciousness and The Zone

Jeremy Woolhouse

In the sports and performing arts, there is what is known as Flow, or “being in The Zone”.  It is considered the ‘state of mind’ where one is wholly absorbed in performance and is associated with moments of peak output.  Although heralded as the ultimate state, performers often report being The Zone also leads to pain, or that pain interrupts Flow.  This article considers the apparent paradox of using consciousness to preserve Flow and eliminate the negative side affects.  It is relevant to anyone who associates being deeply engrossed in a task with stiffness or soreness.  

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Fix the problem or practice the solution.

Jeremy Woolhouse

There is a wonderful book by Pedro DeAlcantara called Indirect Procedures.  The title epitomises both the main challenge students have with Alexander Technique, and the profound solution it proposes.  I present here an example of a problem, and the unexpected principles which lead to its resolution

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Judgement: The Good, The Bad and The Objective.

Jeremy Woolhouse

From the small act of getting in and out of a chair, to the musician on the stage, there are numerous decisions to be made.  Discernment and Judgement are forces which use observations as a force which can elevate or destroy satisfaction in any act.  This article uses the example of pianistic performance, but aims to speak relevance to all activity

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Constructive thinking in performance: fundamental principles of peak performance of any skill.

Jeremy Woolhouse

A fine balance is required to manage any specialised skill.  Attention must be divided amongst essential specifics, and simultaneously be united towards coordinated performance.  Too much attention on one aspect is as disastrous as too little.  I consider three fundamental categories encompass all constructive attention. Thinking is most positively constructive to coordinated performance when balanced across the three areas.  Thoughts outside of their parameters interfere with successful engagement in skilled activity.

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Back to Basics - Again.

Jeremy Woolhouse

A large percentage of classical Alexander Technique lesson time is devoted to work on sitting, standing and moving between sitting and standing.  As one progresses, this preoccupation persists.  There are some more complex tasks that the experienced student may be able to work constructively with, but the teacher is likely to continue to work on sitting and standing.  This tenacity is based on profound principles.

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